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Statue of Duc (Odessa)

Statue of DucĀ (Odessa)






Statue of Armand Emmanuel du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu or simply Statue of Duc is dedicated to one of the most prominent governors of Odessa. Duc de Richelieu arrived in Odessa on March 9, 1803 just eight years after the city was found. At the time of his arrival it was no more than a village with several hundred wooden houses. However energetic Frenchman changed all that in an incredible short period of time. While holding a post of a city mayor he turned Odessa into largest commercial port in the Russian Empire. Duc de Richelieu ordered construction of a first Odessa Opera House, the printing press, Commercial College, Institute for Noble Maidens and many other public and government buildings. In the eleven years of his leadership the population of the city increased to 35,000 residents.
In 1814 Napoleonic Wars were concluded. Russian Army along with its allies crossed the whole Europe and captured French capital of Paris. Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled and Bourbon dynasty of French kings was re- established. Duc de Richelieu left Odessa and under direct orders of a Russian tsar moved back home to France where he subsequently became a prime- minister.
In 1817 Russian Emperor Alexander I visited Odessa and was genuinely surprised by the changes that happened here. He ordered a decree on awarding Duc de Richelieu with the Order of Saint Andrew, one of the highest signs of distinction in the Russian Empire. After death of Duc de Richelieu citizens of Odessa gathered money construct a monument to honor first mayor of Odessa. Mayor of Odessa Alexander Louis Andre de Langeron and close friend of a former mayor helped to find a spot and ordered construction of a statue that was designed by Ivan Martos, one of the most famous sculptors of the time. He portrayed Duc as a Roman senator covered by toga with a laurel wreath on his hands. Duc holds a manuscript in his right hand with a map of the city he helped to shape and grow. Statues of Duc de Richelieu remained on its spot for almost two centuries. Despite changing borders and various political turmoils it is one of the monuments in Odessa that wasn't torn down and remains one of the most prominent symbols of the city.








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